Primeval: New World: 105 “Undone” Review
Reviewed by David Selby.
I’ve had very mixed feelings so far about this new series of Primeval. After a very shaky start, there had only been one episode which particularly stood out to me, the others being average or below. I didn’t have especially high expectations for this episode, specifically as I’d started my Primeval Series 1 marathon; I thought that nothing would compare to the original series. Was I mistaken?
The episode begins with a slightly clichéd image of a young girl ‘innocently’ wandering a university campus, unnerved by some rather terrifying students, jumping out from the bushes in a way which more than subtly foreshadows what’s about to happen. The student is then attacked by a creature which is seemingly an over-aggressive dog – it is, in fact, a Lycaenops (coincidentally a descendant of the Gorgonopsid).
The first half of the episode mainly encompasses some very eerie scenes in the university. They don’t amount to much, but set the tone for the second half of the story. The night-time locale makes for a darker atmosphere, and there are a few of those classic Primeval moments which make you jump unexpectedly. Sam (Jodi Balfour) also continues her campaigns to join the SPG team, complemented by playful teasing from Mac (Danny Rahim). Then there’s Toby (Crystal Lowe) who conducts herself as a far more intelligent and rational character than before; comically remarking on the dangerous ramifications associated with altering the past (“If we kill one stegosaurus, then its great, great grand stegosaurus won’t be there to eat a bug […]and then guess what? We are all lizard people”). I hope the concept of unintentionally changing evolution is explored in this new series of Primeval; Claudia Brown’s arc in the original series always fascinated me, but was never fully explained (in many ways, that was part of the appeal).
The creature stands as certainly one of Primeval’s most terrifying and seemingly unstoppable (particularly because they’re presented as a couple). The decision to keep it alive and bring it back to the lab was what essentially killed Sam, and therefore it places a lot of tension between the protagonists.
Sam’s death was the highpoint of the episode purely because of the emotional impact it had. I like it when characters are killed off suddenly without prior warning as it really knocks your balance. The scene with Mac turning up to see the body was incredibly poignant, giving her the key, as if to symbolize what could have been.
Unlike Dylan (Sara Canning) and Evan (Niall Matter), Mac responded to loss with vengeance – perhaps that says a lot about his character (yet still I felt very sorry for him). The rest of the episode is actually extremely depressing, arguably the saddest Primeval since Cutter’s death in Series 3. I find it curious how the writer decided to conclude by drawing a parallel between Mac and Sam and the two creatures; one sorrowfully mourning over the other. I find the final scenes with the Lycaenops the most emotional from the series – it’s odd how I’m more sensitively connected to the creature than the protagonist, but that’s not what it is – it’s because of the fact that no one won in this story. Everybody lost. The creatures were killed in a world which was wrong for them and Mac’s life was ruined beyond imminent repair. The closing moment was very believable from Evan, and is hinting towards a development between his and Angelika (Miranda Frigon)’s relationship (perhaps soon becoming romantic?). The vocals which accompanied this hit an even more moving tone, and were conveniently performed by Miranda Frigon.
Overall score: 9/10
A chilling story of love and pathos, with several twists and turns along the way. A surprising improvement on the last offering!